Thursday, April 29, 2010

In My Spare Time...

I finished Kiki's quilt, and now I'm waiting for Finn's fabric to arrive. What do I do with my spare time? Clean? Exercise? Relax? Bah! I've been in dire need of a sewing apron:Pockets! Pockets!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kiki's Quilt Finished (No, really this time)

Now it really is finished, binding and all! I added a border around the sides, but I was a little short on fabric, so I did a little creative sewing with a few fabric remnants on the corners. I ended up just stitching in the ditch for most of the quilt, but I did try something new with the edges. You can't see it very well in the photo but I bought a stencil and used some sidewalk chalk to draw it on with. Luckily I used pink because it hasn't washed out very well.
I think she likes it!I am submitting this design to the Tea Rose Home Link party for the first time!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kiki's Quilt Finished

I made my 12 blocks. Laid them out:Then I added 8.5" squares between (I sewed these in diagonal rows, this is just how it looks laid out):Then I added the 8.5" triangles to the sides and corners:And now my quilt is finished! Although I am thinking of adding a border. I'm going to try backing it in flannel for some extra-coziness. And I haven't yet decided how I am going to quilt it...but for the most part, it's done!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kiki's Quilt Block Tutorial

I don't usually write tutorials because most of what I have done so far has been lifted from a tutorial. But this time, I've created something a bit more organic. No doubt there are other quilt blocks like this one, in fact I was inspired by Oh, Fransson!'s Scrappy Hedgerow Blocks, but I didn't want mine to be that big or have that many rows, so I had to tweak it myself. This involves a little bit of math and I was kinda proud that I figured it out. If you want to check out the finished product, scroll to the bottom first.
I started with a Hunky Dory Layer Cake. It gave me a lot of fabric to play with. I want this to be a busy quilt, so I was glad to find something with a lot of prints.
For this block, you need to cut:

(1) 3.5" x 3.5" square
(1) 3.5" x 1.5" strip
(2) 4.5" x 1.5" strips
(1) 5.5" x 1.5" strip
(1) 5.5" x 2" strip
(2) 7" x 2" strips
(1)8.5" x 2" strip

I am making 12 blocks, so I just cut everything at once. Personally, I think fresh-cut fabric is akin to a rose garden: Since I am making 12 blocks, I laid out each one beforehand to make sure none of my fabrics repeated themselves. I chose to make the 3.5" squares all one pattern, all of the inner strips are pink and yellow prints, and all of the outer strips are blue, green and grey prints.

Then I pinned each block's fabrics together so that I could keep them straight. As a mom, I anticipated that this might help me grab one and sew when I found the chance. Also, I enjoy menial labor:

I started by sewing one 3.5" x 1.5" strip to the right of my inner 3.5" square:

I press after every strip. I found that pressing the seams toward the center of the block was easier for me, but it probably doesn't matter much on this block.
Next I added a 4.5" x 1.5" strip to the bottom:

Then another 4.5" x 1.5" strip to the left:

Next a 5.5" x 1.5" strip to the top:

Then it was time to start on the outer strips. Sew a 5.5" x 2" strip to the right:

Then a 7" x 2" strip to the bottom:

Another 7" x 2" strip to the left:

And finally a 8.5" x 2" strip to the top:

And then you have a finished 8 1/2" block! Okay, I'm pretty bad about making my seams too big (I have a scant 1/4" foot, but I still go over), so my block is more like 8 1/4", but I figure it doesn't matter much since I will probably make all 12 the same way.

My plan is to turn these diagonal and sew 3 across the top and 4 along the side (with 8.5" squares of fabric between and on the sides) for a roughly 3' x 4' quilt for my daughter. I'll show you along the way, but for now, I have some more blocks to sew!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dee's Basket No. 3

Before I took a quilting class, I always thought that the term "quilting" refered to the sewing of all the blocks together. That's really the piecing. Quilting is when you bind together the pieced top, batting and fabric backing, usually by sewing a cool design through all layers. Here is the pieced top of my Dee's Basket: I'm not sure when I will get around to actually quilting it since I got my layer cake in the mail today! A layer cake is a bunch of 10" fabric squares. I'm using these to make Kinley a crib quilt. More on that later.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

If Wishes Were Horses, Wizards Would Ride

Excerpt of a conversation with Finn today:

Finn: (sounding sad) Mom, I wish I had some friends
Me: What are you talking about, honey? You have a lot of friends.
Finn: I wish I had some friends that could help me do MAGIC.
Me: Oh. Can't help you there.

Perhaps a few too many viewings of Sword and the Stone this week?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dee's Basket No. 2

After I made the first block for this quilt, I was really hating the colors. I thought it would be an orange explosion on my walls. I decided to finish just to get more quilting practice. Lo and behold, it looks much different put together! I'm liking it a lot now actually. I still have to put on the outer border, binding and backing (and of course quilt the darn thing), but it should be finished soon. I'm trying to take it a little slower since my whirlwind of sewing last week nearly made me burn out.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pretty Flower Dress Repurpose

McKinley has this great dress that a friend of mine gave her. Unfortunately, it's been looking a little short on her lately (she is in the 88th percentile for height). It's got such an amazing pattern that I knew I wasn't ready to give it up just yet. So, I decided to give it new life! I bought a cheap little pink onesie and found a super cute felt flower in my scrapbooking stash: Close-up of the cutie-pie flower:

I started by cutting off the top of the dress and sewing it at waist height on the onesie. However, working with the cotton jersey knits that usually make up t-shirts and onesies is hard. There was quite a bit of bunching:
But that is what they make ruffles for! Ruffles are the perfect boo-boo cover for girl's clothes. I hand-stiched a little hot pink ruffle over that bunchy stitch line and fixed it right up. When my grandmother passed away ten years ago, I inherited 6 boxes of embroidery floss from her. I can't tell you how great it is to have such a vast array of colors on hand when I need them. Thanks Mamow!
Have I completely forgotten about my son while I complete all these girly projects I've been working on, you ask? Well, he's getting crafty himself! I let him paint a birdhouse to hang out back. It kept him busy:
Finally, the finished product! I blanket-stitched the little flower on the front (It's actually a scrapbook embellishment, which means it has a sticky back. Kinda gross to sew with, really. I think in the future I will try to peel the icky stick off first). Now Kiki just needs to wake up so I can see it on her!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dee's Basket

After I put the kids to bed last night, I started sewing the beginnings of my new wall-hanging sized quilt. All I did was put all the half-triangles together, but then I laid out all the squares to see how my block would look. Hopefully I'll get around to sewing that later today: The pattern is Dee's Basket from Keepsake Quilting and the fabric is from there as well. This is my new favorite quilting site. By the way, these patterns are SO not my style, but I decided to shake things up a bit!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Promised A Skirt...

and a skirt I give to you! It's called the "20 Minute Skirt," but in reality, it took me closer to 45 minutes. Still not too bad. My favorite thing about this skirt is that the fabric was on clearance, and I stole the elastic for the waist from some of my old maternity pants. Also, I received my fat quarters in the mail yesterday:
And I am so eager I have already cut them. I've got a pattern to make a wall-hanging quilt for my living room. I wanted to add some color in there (right now it consists of brown, beige and a little white thrown in for fun) and I needed a new quilting project, so there you go.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I absolutely hate it when I know that my trash can be reused, I just don't know HOW. I've been collecting old coffee cans and baby food containers for months know, but I usually end up throwing them out when I realize I have no good ideas. Enter my friend Wendy, who introduced me to Modge Podge. Now I can make my little food containers into something cute like this:
Also, I've seen numerous tutorials on the web about turning men's button-up shirts into toddler skirts. I thought it was a little masculine, but I was bored so I tried it anyway (kinda reminds me of boxer shorts). Here they are next to some clearance fabric I bought this week (look for it to be turned into a skirt soon!):
Last is my piece de resistance. Not really, but I am pretty proud of myself. I turned one of my old button-up shirts into a little dress for Kiki. The best part is that I just did it! No pattern, no tutorial (although I have seen some for doing this). I trusted my machine and my ruler, and it didn't turn out half bad. AND, there are probably a million button-up shirts at Goodwill for next to nothing that I can make into little dresses like this!

Note that probably 75% of the sewing and finishing is already done for you if you cut up the shirt carefully.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Note Addy lurking in the background on this shot. Always waiting for the food to drop:

Easter is the only day of the year that I let my kids eat candy from the second they wake up until they just can't take it anymore. Surprisingly, we had no sugar-induced meltdowns at all.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Costume Party

Finn has wanted to dress up as something new everyday lately. Sometimes I put a lot of effort into his costumes:
(Super Finn)
Sometimes I'm a bit more lazy:
And sometimes he just makes it himself:
(Mr. Freeze--2 rolls of tape were destroyed in the making of this costume)

All I've Ever Wanted

I've always wanted a twin. Probably better to have a little girl that I can match with!

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